Saturday, December 1, 2012

Good Morning From Cold Antler!

It's snowing outside and, even if just for a little, the farmhouse is coated in a thin layer of beautiful white. Holiday music is playing on Pandora, coffee is on the stove, and I am getting ready for a day of friends, fellowship, and music!

Good Morning!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Brett & His Timbersports Team!

Wrenched

This morning I woke up totally renewed after yesterday's exhaustion. I felt that old jones for coffee as I happily went about morning chores with Gibson at my side. Every single morning it is he and I, on the mountain, checking on the stock and making creatures comfortable. I felt good. I felt really good. The sleep did wonders, and I was in a brand new flannel shirt with my dog. That marks mentioning because buying new clothes is rare, and nothing beats the softness of a new, never washed, flannel shirt off the rack. It was under my black wool sweater, the one I learned to ride Merlin on. It's a combination now of border collie and horse hair, if you look close enough. I mean that in the most endearing way possible.

So I was out there, carrying hay and water buckets, singing to my dog and could instinctually smell the coffee brewing on the kitchen stove. The fires were lit and no matter where I was on the farm I could see and smell that woodsmoke, the undeniable certainty of warmth ahead. Homesteaders are a race that devours deprivation with great joy for the promise of the simplest hand-crafted comfort. Coffee by a wood stove after morning chores with farm animals is pretty much homesteader cannon for satisfaction. As indisputable as the temperature.

So I go inside, and I pour a mug of coffee, and I start writing you guys love letters about the healthy turn-around with the sick sheep, and the concert and workshop tomorrow, and I am in the kitchen listening to Jay play Ashokan Farewell when I can't stand it anymore. I need to make some music. You start playing the fiddle and you'll understand. You can't help yourself.

So I go get my Silver Creek fiddle, and I realize from the drop in temperatures that it is sadly out of tune. So I clip in my Snark tuner (best tuner ever) and sit hunched over my devil box in front of the fire for about seven minutes of plucks and adjustments. Happy with the GDAE tuning, I snap my head up to play and…

WWRRREEENNNNNCCCCCHHH

I holler in pain! I had a cramp in my next going down to my shoulder. It was there since yesterday evening I bet, lying in wait for the perfect moment to spring. Hauling a 150 pound ewe up a hillside after being awake 40+ hours is what tore up the muscle, but that moment of stillness and hunching over is what did me in. I took some ibuprofen, and attached a heating pad to me like a parrot on my shoulder, and decided I was officially middle-aged. Not a bad thing at all.

So my body has officially told me to slow down for the day. I hope to heal up fast, I always do, but right now I am just grateful this happened before morning chores and not during or after. I can sit out for the next few rounds and be right as rain for evening work, perhaps done with a little less gusto. Now, if you would please excuse me. I am going to fill up a syringe within Pro Pen G for a date with a lady on the hill.

Four Spots Opened!

Below you can see two workshops coming up, one being tomorrow. Four people had to cancel so I have a few openings for this sold out event. It's called Words and Wool and it's a day dedicated to writing, knitting projects, authors, blogs, and getting your website out there. It's about learning to market, make some cash, and make your blog work harder for you. Author Jon Katz will be here. Other authors who are locals may show up as well. Last Chance lower rates are available for those interested. So if you want to get an amazing Saturday in the W.C. Lined up for tomorrow come to the workshop here and then enjoy a live show by Jay Unger and Molly Mason at Hubbard Hall. It's not to late to sign up here and get tickets for the show/Contra dance! And for those interested in music: This winter beginner fiddler workshop is sold out, but in the spirit of the wonderful and successful fiddle camps I am offering a version for those of you who are looking for instant gratification and less squeaks and squawks: Also, a less expensive instrument. Check this out.

Introducing Dulcimer Day Camp!
April 13th 2013



Come up to the farm this April when the snows are gone and lambs are on my mind for a Saturday dedicated to learning the Mountain Duclimer. Everyone who signs up for the day gets an Apple Creek Dulcimer of their very own and a basic instruction book. We'll spend the morning learning about the history, tuning, and strumming patterns and the afternoon learning your first songs! You will also leave knowing how to read tabs(so you don't need to know how to read music to attend) and the basics of jamming by chord and ear.

Just like fiddle camp you arrive knowing nothing and leave not only with your own instrument, but the knowledge to tune, play, and enjoy it. The dulcimer is a wonderful way for even the most skeptical of wannabe musicians to start with. It is tuned to itself and there isn't really a way to play a wrong note on it. As long as she's in tune, she'll make sweet music for you.

So if you ever wanted to add some music to your campfires, living rooms or farm front porches and and learn to bring home that beautiful music. Meet other beginner's, and enjoy a spring time farm. If you already have an older dulcimer then all you need to do is get it checked by a music shop and possibly get it restrung. If you own a newer dulcimer but never really learned, then sign on up and get inspired. You'll be strumming out Shady Grove in no time!

Please email me if you are interested, cost will be $225.00 for the whole day and the instrument and book, and include a farm tour. Please pack a lunch or plan to eat out in town. CAF Season Pass members just let me know if you want to come along, you only need to buy the book and dulc!

Words & Wool with Jon Katz!
Dec 1st 2012 - 4 spots left!


Come to Cold Antler Farm this winter for a special workshop called Words & Wool. It is a knitter's circle and writing workshop dedicated to the small homestead or farmer's blog and the marketing and promotion of it. Come learn straight from the shepherd's mouth how I built, promoted, and expanded my blog. Ask me questions about publishing and writing professionally, learn how to sell or pitch ads and giveaways, bring a sample of writing to talk about and share with the group for a healthy and kind critique. Tell your story with eager ears listening, and a border collie in your lap....At the very least get some ideas for your personal, non commercial blog for your friends and family. It's a day dedicated to expanding your own brand and business, and getting the word out about your own website as another, vibrant, source of income for your farm and family.

Jon Katz (that's him loving up his donkey Simon), the New York Times Bestselling author will be here as well to do a talk about how he started blogging and how the internet has helped grow his brand. He writes and shares his amazing photography at Bedlamfarm.com. His blog is one of the most popular farm blogs online now, with nearly 5 million hits! Some of you may already read it, and those who don't, should. It never hurts to have a little more Washington County in your life! He'll be available to share his own experiences and do a Q&A as well as sign any books you may have for him. And as for the wool? Bring a knitting project! If you are coming along to listen and talk, you might as well have something to work on near the wood stove. Other knitters will be on hand to help, give advice, share patterns and teach you the basics if you are new to the craft. Expect a comfortable day, indoors mostly, at the farm. The class starts at 10AM and goes till 3PM, and if you want to stay after the class for a private party of creamy potato soup and bread fresh from the Bun Baker wood stove you are welcome to it!

Please email me if you are interested, cost will be $100.00 for the whole day, and include a farm tour. Please pack a lunch for a midday knitting break. CAF Season Pass members just let me know if you want to come along!

Season Pass promotion: Sign up for either workshop and you can pay a little more and be welcome back all year long as a Season Pass Member. SPM's are a driving force of support and goodwill on this little farm. They keep me going, as all of you do who read, email, comment, donate and come out to scratch Gibson behind the ears and tussle Merlin's mane.

Sheep News: Joseph Reporting

Good News, All Around!

So I have some morning updates for you! First off, the ewe was standing up and walking towards me this morning! She pulled through the night and waddled down the hillside to join her fellow flock mates for early feed. She had an appetite, too. I am so happy, there's a good chance she'll pull through! She needs to put on some weight and get her immune system back into shape, but the sweet feed and antibiotics are making that happens. Thank you for your kind words and wishes!

Second! If you are coming up to the farm tomorrow for Words and Wool, dress warm and be excited for snow! It looks like (and feels like) snow around here, and it'll make the stay at the farm cozy. Remember to pack a lunch or plan to grab it at a local shop around here. We have several places just within a few miles. And if you are staying in the area Saturday night, get your tickets at the Hubbard Hall website (our little opera house in town) for a live performance by Jay Unger and Molly Mason! Jay you know from his famous song, Ashokan Farewell, made famous by Ken Burn's Civil War PBS Series. Molly plays a mighty fine Gibson J45 (What Gibson, the dog, is named after) together it is some sweet music. After the workshop at 4pm there will be a Contra Dance in town too, with Jay and Molly playing. And it is downtown Cambridge's Cash Mob day. All the local stores will be open, including Battenkill Books, for you to grab some holiday cheer at.

Healthy Sheep, Snowfall, and Fiddle Music! Welcome to Washington County this Weekend!

P.S. I slept nine hours last night. Blessed rest!

Hey Lady?

Hey, Lady? Where do you want this bucket? It's a pretty good bucket. I slayed it good. It was rolling around and bucketing and acting up and I just circled it until it stopped! Dead stopped! You ever scare a bucket into stopping, lady? It's the BEST! I scared it and then SHABAAANG! I was on it, biting it, fighting that bucket and giving it the ol' what for! So I killed this bucket for you, after scaring it into a stop, and I think you should use it for your farming. You can use it to carry water to those fluffy bags of suet on the hill. Hey?! HEY! Where did you go? You think buckets just ARE? They need to be chased into corners and defeated, lady. I did this for you and you're just walking over there, up there? Walking around the house? OMG, you are coming around the corner with TWO MORE BUCKETS! HOW did you kill them so swiftly, and quietly? You are a bucket ninjaperson. Ooooohhh boy. Wait till the suet bags here about this!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Okay

I've been up around 36 hours. I just came inside from carrying a sick sheep up a hillside, medicating it, and setting it up with fresh bedding, food, and water. It was the grand finale to a very, very long day. When that good task was completed I said a few words of support and kissed her forehead, and then set about the night rounds on the farm.

I fixed some of the horses' fence. I carried buckets of water, and hay bales, and set up new mineral blocks in plastic basins. The pigs were tucked in. The goats were nickering between mouthfuls of hay. Somewhere in the distance I heard a hunter's gunshot. Everything hurts. I'm out of energy and out of breath. None of this is a complaint. Everyone in my care is as okay as they can be right now. All of this is a prayer.

I'm taking a deep breath.
I'm drinking a big glass of water.
I'm sitting next to my fire.
I'm stretching out tired muscles.
I'm hoping for the best.
I'm happiest wanting.

So here's to desire. Shepherd Out.

If You're Coming This Weekend

No Sleep. Sick Sheep.

I couldn't sleep last night. Not more than a few moments in-between long stretches of anxiety. Sleep has been hard won lately. This time of year is stressful for me, The Holidays. And I was up worrying about things I can't change or control for most of the night. When the sun finally arrived I told Gibson we were going to take care of the animals and then try to catch a nap when everyone was content. That was the plan. But farm's have a way of not caring much for the farmer's plans.

I went outside with Gibson and noticed a Blackface ewe on the ground near the gate, looking at me with bright eyes but away from the rest of the flock up the hill. Sheep are not loners, and if one is by itself it is either bringing life into the world or preparing to leave life altogether. Any notion of sleep was lost, ran off with that broken leash we call Circumstance. I knew what I was going to have to do to treat the ewe and it required a trip into Greenwich to the refrigerated section at the Tractor Supply. The ewe was weakened with an infection, I have seen it twice before on this farm and managed to heal the last sheep showing the same signs. I give three 9ml shots of Pro Pen G (per my vet's instruction), amp up her selenium intake, give electrolytes to drinking water, and up the caloric intake of the flock. This treatment has never failed me when acted on at the first signs of struggle. I wanted this ewe back on her feet for the breeding season around Yule.

Something about the farm takes away any selfish desires you may have, or dare consider having like naps and the such. Instead of feeling deflated, I felt infused with purpose. My energy was back. There was no room for the luxury of anxiety, because I had a job to do and it could be a matter of life and death. I asked Gibson to push back the flock and let me focus on the little girl with the wobbly legs. I looked her over, checked her eyelid color, searching for signs of bloat or wounds. She was just weak. I think it is a vitamin/mineral deficiency, probably selenium. I am of course, not a vet, just a farmer writing in her journal. But my experience and diagnose felt correct.

I fed the flock and the rest of the animals and then headed inside for a shower. The farm supply store would not be open for another hour and a half. The hot water felt better than usual in the cold house. It helped get me back into the real world, out of that torpor of self-pity and fear. The night before was lost, ran off with Circumstance. Life is give and take around here. I would not have time to light a fire and enjoy a cuppa at home, not today, but no matter how tiring the day grew it would be easily set aside in the whitewash of genuine need. Soon as I looked more like a citizen than a meth addict, I jumped into the truck and headed to town to get the meds.

And of course, once the day gets rolling there is no point in slowing down. I know if I nap I'll just have another night without sleep. So I went about the farm doing chores, medicating the sheep, adding more minerals to their grain, and then going for a walk in the woods to see if any deer were active at the midday hour. They weren't.

I'm keeping an eye on the ewe, and moving her to shelter soon, on clean fresh bedding where no one can disturb her healing process.

I am starting to feel the day catch up with me now. I am feeling tired. But the next thing on my list before nightfall is to check the entire horse fence for working electricity and get that ewe in a safe place and some more meds in her. What I need is a massage, a hot tub, a green juice, and some sleep. I'll get those things by and by. But for the now, it's sheep medications and keeping the home fires burning. I'll update with more on the ewe as I learn more, but sending healing thoughts our way if you have them to spare.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Highlanders

A Celtic Huntress


Someone left a comment about this painting, located in San Francisco presently, but painted in 1890 by George DeForest Brush. It's called A Celtic Huntress. And there she is, the fast fast dog herself, holding an arrow on one side and a canine on the other. I don't know this woman but I instantly identified with her stature, build, haircut, companion and hobby. I don't share the ginger locks but this is a woman after my own heart. Darken her hair a bit, give her a rounder nose, bigger boobs and a border collie and you have a modern Celtic Huntress. How funny. I had no idea a little bit of my spirit was in San Francisco. I bet Mr. Brush didn't think a bit of his painting's spirit was in Jackson.

Our stories aren't ours. They are the world's.

Comfort in Any Wether

Sheep find a place to park for the night, and rest so still on my mountain that by morning their wooly coats are covered in the same frost that covers the fields and forest. When I walk out to feed them I am always shocked by this. Sal and Joseph (senior wethers) come right up to greet me and I stare at the flakes and ice on their backs. It looks like someone broke into my farm with those spray cans of fake snow and tagged them. In the name of winter herself, my sheep have been graffitied with living proof.

They are eating Nelson Greene's nutrition-packed second cut hay. It's so green, so lush, I always tell people I'll never starve with it in the barn. I just need to re-hydrate it and throw some balsamic vinaigrette on it, and BAM, mealtime.

It surely is winter here. The farmhouse seems to always have smoke coming from its chimney. The menu has changed to warm soups and teas, crusty bread and more protein. My body seems to crave more greens than ever before so I am sticking to the two-vegetables one-protein method for the afternoon meal, my only true sit down meal of the day. Mornings are all about coffee, maybe some oatmeal or yogurt, but mostly coffee. I don't get hungry till around 2-3PM and cook a nice meal and then I'm set for the day. I fall asleep around 9PM most nights after a full day of farming and writing, so I don't ever find myself hungry before bed. It suits me. I feel lucky to find a way to eat that makes my body, mind, and winter self feel correct about it.

Tonight will be pretty basic. A broc and cauliflower stir fry over a little rice with a few slices of good beef from Yushack's market in Shushan. Tonight I'll put a chicken into the crock pot and let it take the journey from breast meat roast to curried chicken to stockpot and then the bones go to the pigs who chomp them with a glee unknown to most.

Unlike the sheep, pigs do not gain a layer of frost. They sleep under a blanket of straw, close enough to spoon, and savor comfort more than many humans do. You can learn a lot from a sheep and a pig. You can be a soldier on a hilltop, or a glutton under the covers. I try to find myself somewhere in the swirling seas of moderation. I'm a firm believer in moderation in everything, including, moderation. Sometimes you just gotta be a swine in the hay. You dig?

I'm a Plain Paper Gift-Wrapper

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Maude Doesn't Want You Here...

But I do. So who cares what an angry ol' sheep says?! If you are considering buying a class, workshop, or private lesson with me for a Christmas Present for someone, let me know. I will send along a letter you can give in an envelope as a gift and Gibson will sign it as well. An invitation for their very own workshop of choice, Antlerstock weekend, private fiddle or dulcimer introduction, or an afternoon of learning to do whatever it is I can help teach. It's a great way to see the farm, support it, and give a gift that will be pretty hard to forget. Email me if interested!

What I've Hunted So Far

So far this hunting season has not produced a single ounce of venison for the table. I was given the gift of several chances to take some beautiful deer, but my inexperience, hesitation, and general clumsiness had a way of trumping any celestial opportunities granted. So I haven't been able to bag a deer and maybe I won't. It seems like the deer have caught on to our shenanigans and places once crawling with cervine activity are now barren as the harvested corn fields around Washington County. Well, barren of corn. Seems like every harvested corn field in the county is crawling with deer I can't legally shoot. Deer are like men. You see them everywhere you can't have them.

I have been writing about hunting a lot, and that's because I am doing a lot of it. If I am not taking care of the farm or running errands I am in the forest or a tree stand. The Hunt has taken on a mythical veil to me, it's something more than just aiming a gun at a buck. It is hours and hours of silent meditation, but meditation on the edge. Kind of like sitting in the lotus position on the edge of your roof. Probably nothing will happen, but if it does you better be ready, safe, fast, and wolf-quick in your decisions. It's exhausting and frustrating and exhilarating at the same time.

I have also been getting lots of emails and comments with advice. Some say to leave the bucks to the breeding stock and aim for a small doe. Some say get the largest animal you can for your tag, ensuring more meat in the freezer. I read all these comments and emails and smile, because these are tips for people who have the luxury of choice! Darling, I will be lucky as a duck to even get a *chance* to shoot a deer this season and it won't matter to me if it's a ten-point buck or a graying doe on the lam from another hunter. I will take the animal chance, luck, and a good quick death offers (if I am lucky enough to have one). If I do manage to shoot, kill, and gut a deer it will be thanked. It will be professionally butchered. It will feed myself and friends over storied meals of how the beast went down. And it might inspire other women to take up the good sport, too.

I think that attitude is what makes me a hunter, not the actual taking of a life. To approach the hunt with respect, patience (working on this one), and wonder. I saw those poachers shooting at cheap hits from the road and they may have a garage full of deer at their homes, but they aren't hunters. They are killers. Out for the easiest path to results, regardless of law, other people, or safety. To me a hunter is someone who takes life for the table, not the wall mount. It takes it with humility and the understanding that we too will die someday. The words of Kahil Gibran:

When you kill a beast say to him in your heart, "By the same power that slays you, I too am slain; and I too shall be consumed. For the law that delivered you into my hand shall deliver me into a mightier hand. Your blood and my blood is naught but the sap that feeds the tree of heaven."

So I have not managed to take a deer into the mightier hand. I have no antlered meat in the freezer. But I have been hunting and here is what I have tucked away in a game bag close to my heart:

I have sat for hours in the forest and remembered again what a joy it is to simply sit still. I have snuck up on a great blue heron, and looked at its offended eyes before it flew away in wildly loud flaps of its wings. I have shared a tree stand with a chickadee, singing inches from my ears. I know what the sound of a flock of geese sounds like overhead, when its not honking. Their wing strokes are sirens at sunset. I have seen bucks trot, antlers raised to attention, and does coyly avoid my virginal hands as they take aim. I've sat through snowflakes, and sunrises, and watched a baby fawn cry for its mother as it ran across a field in the blue cold dawn. I laughed with crows. I studied owl songs. I stared at tracks, and blood sign, and heard stories of a dozen hunters and their hunts. I have done this, all this, and it is just half a season gone.

I am joining a sisterhood and brotherhood of people who have reconnected with a primal urge, and I am not talking about killing wildlife. I mean the urge to provide for their loved ones and family in the most basic way possible: deeply nutritious food. It is a sport not of death, not really. It's a sport for the survivors. The brave. The patient. The storytellers. And the poacher chasers.

It is timeless.
It is satisfying.
And it is mine.

Art by Rajewel

Hunting Return Party

I have been hunting over at Jon and Maria's farm this season. He has a tree stand out back and it's a dandy place to watch forest and field from. And every time I get back from the woods I am greeted by Maria's flock of wool sheep. They have snazzy coats and a snazzy sheepdog and are friendly enough to walk up to me when I baa at them the way Sal and Joseph baa at me. I think it's sheep for "Heeeey, Laaadddy."

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thank You!

I just got the email from Connie at Battenkill Books that every book by me, Jon Katz, and James Howard Kunstler has been sold out! And she has A LOT of them! Woo Hoo! Thank you to all who called, spoke and chatted with me, emailed, or just shared your support. Little things like a few dollars for a book add up and you made Connie, and all of us local writer-types, mighty happy! Well done, Antlers!

P.S. Over a week of hunting, 20+ hours in the woods, no deer yet.

So Here's My Number, Call Me Maybe?

Cyber Monday Cash Mob

Today is the infamous Cyber Monday. As someone who spent the last eight years working for online retailers, I have seen this go from a catchphrase noted after marketing reports came back from Black Friday sales to a National Holiday. Right now most of us are looking for bargains online, be it at work, school or at home.

I'm not against it, not in the least. I think it's great if you can get a deal online today. I myself got an electric fireplace for my bedroom, to keep the place comfy when I know the woodstoves are too weak to pump heat upstairs. It looks like a little parlor stove with fake flames and I'm sure I'll feel like one of those people in the Amish Fireplace infomercials as I drift off to sleep. But I got it for 50% off. Yay America.

So we all know today is Cyber Monday. But did you know here in the middle of powder-sugar coated farm country there's another big sales event going on? It's Cash Mob day at Battenkill Books. I'll be heading down to the store with Gibson from 12-2PM and you are free to call me up and say hello, and order a signed book while you're at it. You can even tell me what to write in it over the phone and you can listen to me make Gibson put his paw into a stamp pad to sign it as well. (You can *almost* hear his eye's rolling.) And if you already have a signed book of mine, you can get a signed book of Jon Katz's or Megan B. You can order the new scary book from James Howard Kunstler. And if non-fiction about peak oil isn't your bag you can order his novel World Made By Hand, which is about what Cambridge would be like if America's economy collapses and we lived back in the post-oil lifestyle again. I love that book. It's like walking into another dimension, my own county but where everyone gets to town in a horse-drawn buggy and farming is the new aristocracy. It's a trip.

Anyway, You can call or email Connie at Battenkill Books and order anything you like. She will also wrap it and mail it wherever you wish. So if your cousin in Tampa needs a good book, send her a wrapped copy of Rose In The Storm or maybe get your Mother In Law a Kobo? Supporting this little store makes a big difference and keeps me and my local community of writers and booksellers in tip-top shape. And if yuou balk at the idea of helping a distant "local" store, I understand. Think of it this way. Is your local bookstore in the middle of a town of 1800 rural people during deer season? Connie can use all the support she can get!

Contact Info:
Battenkillbooks.com
info@battenkillbooks.com
# 518-677-2515

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Jackson

Poachers at Cold Antler

I was in my blind, on my property, watching for a deer and knocking a pair of antlers together when I saw a green Ford F250 slowly drive along my property line. A few moments later I heard two shots a few hundred yards from me and I nearly jumped out of my skin. I was livid. "Are you friggin' kidding me?!" I said through gritted teeth. They had shot towards me, since the deer was between us.

I hopped out of my blind and walked through my property to the road where the truck was driving along. In my bright blaze orange there was no mistaking me for a deer. As I came out of the woods I saw a man in camo walk out of the truck with a gun. I knew now there was a driver and a passenger. They saw me storming down the road and sulked off. I scanned and searched the woods for blood trail or a dead animal and found none.

Thinking that was that, I headed back home through the woods. Knowing my hunt was ruined for the morning and quite mad about it. If there was a deer (and clearly there was since they shot at it) It was dead or long gone. And just as I was packing up my optics and blind cloth I heard another shot, just down the road. Now I was pissed.

I got in my truck and sped down the mountain. There they were. I pulled along side the F250 and a kid in his mid-late twenties stared at me, saying nothing. Brownish red hair dirty under a hat and a scraggly start to a beard. He seemed either in shock or drunk. "You are shooting from the road into private property and towards me in my blind! Now LEAVE or I'm calling the police!"

He just stared at me some more, slowly turned his head forward and drove off. I took a photo of their truck and plate and headed home. But then I felt weird, and decided to wait a little on the road. Sure enough they were heading back. I yelled "Get lost' and they hollered some obscenity back and I then drove home and called the police.

I drove back to where I saw them and saw a buck, laying with his head up and legs tucked under him. As I was walking toward it a police cruiser came up behind me. I waved, pointed to the buck in the brush (the officer could not see him, brown on brown isn't exactly easy to view to a non-hunter's eye). I asked if it was okay to scare him off, because I was pretty sure that was the exact reason they were driving up and down the road with a gun. I walked 30 feet up to him and he took off. I couldn't tell how large of a buck it was. But I was thrilled to see him able to run away. I felt protective of him. He was from my forest, my pasture. If me or another legal hunter with permission took him from the mountain, well okay. But some scumbags taking cheap shots on posted land don't deserve a buck like that. Take cheap shots on your own property.

Right now state and local officers are on the mountain road. They have their plate number and description. IF they have the nerve to come back I hope they get caught. It was scary, dangerous, and stupid.